“A double dose of bad news.” Robesonian August 21, 2014.
Robeson Community College reported a drop in the number of students enrolled by nearly 1,000 in the fall of 2013 from the year before. The decrease is not unique to Robeson County, Mark Kinlaw, vice president of Instruction, says. In 2011, the Pell Grant program was cut by $5.7 billion, and the amount of aid available for the most needy students dropped from $5,550 to $4,705 a year. Additionally, about 1.7 million students who were eligible to receive smaller Pell Grants immediately became ineligible for the program.
In Robeson County, where education has not always been valued and students routinely leave school without a degree or a skill to earn a living, the Pell Grant program has been vital, rerouting in a positive direction plenty of young people in danger of falling into the welfare trap. For many of those, the Pell Grant option is no longer available, and the loss of funding leaves many without the education needed for higher paying jobs.